At the culmination of the Lord Subramanium festival, Swami Surya talks about how we can develop our awareness of our own Divinity in the context of family life.Download the discourse as an mp3
Good afternoon Divine friends. It’s very nice to see you here on this wet soggy day. What an auspicious day! Today is the reunion of Shiva and Shakti – Shiva here, Shakti there. [Swami points inwardly to the heart] Shakti here, Shiva there.
We are both Shiva and Shakti. We are God. We are the Almighty. We’re not separate from God. The purpose of coming to worship God is to realise that we are not separate from God.
The Vel – the Shakti of Lord Subramanium
The Vel that the Lord carries pierces the ignorance that we are all under – that ignorance that we are not Divine. It is jnana, knowledge – knowledge of our true nature. Knowledge that we are Shakti, knowledge that we are Shiva.
We’re involved in this maya, this world of illusion, in order to realise the purpose of our birth; that we are Divine by nature. Over incarnations we have evolved for that purpose alone. During that evolution we are subject to many impressions, many ‘samskaras’.
Everything that we surround ourselves with in our living is a vibration, is an impression. The more intensely we associate with something or someone, the more intense is that impression.
Some of those impressions are positive and they help us to live in the consciousness of love. Some are negative and they obstruct us from living in the consciousness of love. But there are many, many impressions. We carry them with us from one birth to another.
Why can’t we see God?
Why can we not realise that we are Divine? The karma that we have accumulated through many cycles of birth, and those samskaras, those impressions, obstruct us from realising our Divinity.
So the Lord, in His compassion, in Devi’s power of maya, gives us the opportunity to pay off our karma. He gives us the opportunity to live out our desires. To fulfil that which needs fulfilling in our lives.
It is on days such as today, that through the compassion of the Lord, those samskaras and karma that obstruct us in our living can be purified, can be washed away, through the grace and the compassion of the Lord and of the Divine Mother.
All we have to do is ask, with a sincere heart, for the Lord to give us clarity in our lives and in our minds, to reinvigorate us spiritually.
Dharma of family life
We get so tied up, and so bogged down in the mechanics of living. Paying our bills, looking after this, doing that, going to work… these are all necessary, but they are not what life is all about. If life just becomes that, then we’ve forgotten the purpose of our birth.
Yes, we have our dharma to fulfil. If you are in the world, if you have a family, children, husbands, wife, parents, then you have a duty to care for them, to look after them and to nurture them.
But you have a foremost duty to the Divinity that is embodied within you – to your Paramatma. If you forget that duty, then that’s an abdication of your responsibility to that Paramatma. That’s your foremost duty. That’s the purpose of your birth.
The Lord will give you the opportunity in your incarnation to pay off your karma… to learn what love is about. If you have a family then you have the opportunity to live in the consciousness of love – of selfless love. Your whole life is about caring for your children, or your wife or your husband, or your parents. That can be selfless love.
But remember parents, you do not own your children. They are jeevas evolving, with a different consciousness of God to you, on their own path of evolution. Yes, you have a duty to look after them until they are of the age when they can be independent. Then you have to let them go. You have to give them space. You have to have trust in them, you have to give them confidence.
Yes, you have done your duty as parents to give from the experience of your living the values that they need to be equipped for life. But they have to learn through their own experience. Do not smother them. Give them space, allow them to fly the nest. Because if you don’t they will run away from you. Be there to love, be there to support.
Same for children with their parents. You have a duty to look after them, a duty to care for them, but again they have their own journey to fulfil. Be there to support, but respect their independence. Respect their dignity.
Spend time in your life identifying with God
Make a partnership with God at home. You have a choice, Divine friends, what you do every morning when you get up. Yes, you have to go to work and do all of these things, but you have a choice in the vibrations which you surround yourself with in your living.
What you watch, what you eat, what you talk about, who you talk to. Everything is a vibration, it’s an impression which affects you. Open your eyes and see that.
If you have an interaction of love with another human being – that uplifts you. You feel love in yourself. You feel positive, because the Divinity within you can express itself freely.
If you have an interaction of hostility, of aggression, of “I’m more important than you, I’ll tell you what to do, you listen to me, I’m the one who knows it all” That creates a negative vibration. It obstructs the Divinity within you. Understand this.
Understand vibrations. Everything is cause and effect – karma. There is not a single thing in the manifest Universe which is not subject to the law of cause and effect. Realise that, and live in that consciousness.
Chant the name of the Lord
Whether it’s Rama, Krishna, Murugan, Shakti, Shiva, Durga, Kali, Christ, Buddha. It’s doesn’t matter which – chant the name of the Lord, because chanting will change your aura, your vibration. You will elevate your consciousness. You will want to associate with those things that help you stay in that consciousness of God.
There are always distractions. There is always work to do. There are always things to see. But make time and space for God, because if you do not, then you will come to the end of your incarnation and think “If only… if only I had spent a little time.”
The more time that you spend, the more that your eyes will open to see that God will play a part in every single part of your life – if you only ask the Lord to do so.
That’s all you have to do. Open your heart and God will be there. The more that your consciousness is with God, the more that you will realise that God is with you at all times. Slowly you begin to realise that God is within you, not separate from you.
Learn to use the energy of God… the shakti, the power of the Divine
Learn to work with that energy of God. That is what being a monastic is about. A monk or a nun – their duty is to learn to work with the power of God. To learn to harness that power and use it for your own evolution and for the betterment of humanity.
It is a real power, a real Shakti. The energy of God is not imaginary. The Shakti that manifests here today, and the Shakti that will manifest when we take the Lord back into His gopurum… that’s not imagination. It’s not brought about by a group of people getting hysterical… although it might help!
It’s brought about through love. It’s brought about through dedication, through service. How many people have worked tirelessly here over the past few weeks, preparing for this festival?
Not looking for thanks, not looking for people to turn around and say how marvellous they are. But serving God, cleaning things, preparing things, decorating, cooking prasadam for the thousands of people who’ve come here, serving the food, as well as looking after people in our hospice, as well as looking after all the devotees that come here. That is what brings the Shakti, the power of God.
Seva – service to God, that is karma yoga
If you want to get that Shakti, if you want to experience that power of God, learn what karma yoga is – see those opportunities.
Come and serve God here, serve God in your communities. Serve and worship the Lord. That is what Krishna taught us, in the Gita. In this Kali Yuga, in this age of destruction, this materialistic world, the easiest way to realise our own Divine nature is through seva and through worship. Karma and Bhakti yoga.
Divine friends we are now going to chant the 108 names of the Lord, after we’ve brought the offerings forward. Then we will take the Lord and the Divine Mother back to the gopurum for their final aarti before we leave them in peace to enjoy each other’s company in blissful union.
Now, we talk about blissful union… Wives! Worship your husbands! Husbands worship your wives! It might sound a bit alien to you, to worship your wife. You might think why should I worship her? She is like this, or she is like that, or she is a complete pain in the neck!
Change that. Tomorrow morning wake up in the morning and the first thing say – “Om Devi Namaha, Om Mahasakthi Namaha, Om Narayani Namaha or Durga Devi Namaha!”
Bring her a cup of tea in the morning, bring her some flowers in the morning and worship her. Worship her with all your heart, see the Divine Mother embodied within her, see the Divine Mother embodied within your daughters, worship Devi in them.[Turns to the ladies] Now this is the most difficult part, because you have to worship the Lord, but only after the Lord has worshipped you! “Om Shivaya Namaha, Om Mahadeva” or “Om Krishnaya Namaha” if you are feeling a bit amorous! [laughter].
You could be Radha, he could be Krishna! Now, if he has not behaved himself you could be Kali. And you better watch out, she might stick her tongue out and stand on top of him!
Worship each other, worship the Lord in him, see the Lord embodied in him. If you do that on a regular basis, if you do a puja in your shrine, if you have a shrine, (if you don’t – get one!) Have a lamp, have a picture, whatever aspect of God you feel drawn to, do a puja. And then very briefly at the end of the puja, worship the Lord in each other.
Begin to introduce that consciousness, because you begin to see that in every single person there is goodness, there is love, there is sweetness, there is affection, there is beauty.
Focus on that which is positive
Focus on that which is joyful, which is uplifting in each other. It is always so easy to focus on the negative, it is always so easy to criticise, to pull people apart, to put people down.
Start to change that. On this reunion day, of Shiva and Shakti, begin the change of consciousness. Worship the Lord in each other. Worship the Divine Mother in each other. Elevate your consciousness and look at the positive in each other.
Not just in each other, but in every single human being you come in contact with. Then the Lord within you will begin to be dominant and will begin to express Himself or Herself – and slowly you will begin to realise your Divine nature, Divine friends.
It is not difficult. You are the only ones who can change it through grace. Now, today you have the grace. So all you need to do is to make that assertion in your minds that when you leave here you are going to use this grace constructively to change your life. Not to carry on as we were when we came here.
What is the point of coming here if you are not going to change? There is no point. Grace is for change. It is the power to help us change – that Isha Shakti and Kriya Shakti.
The Lord has Isha Shakti and Kriya Shakti – Valli and Devayani. Those two Shaktis are the will to change and kriya – the action to change. And that gives us jnana, knowledge – knowledge of our true nature. So take the power of the Lord and Devis today and begin to change your life.
Recognise God in each other, Divine friends. Bless you!
Download the discourse as an mp3
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